Friday, December 12, 2008

Sarko Versus the Mullahs of Iran

French president Sarkozy lit some verbal fireworks indeed:

In the speech, given on 8 December on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Mr Sarkozy said: "How is it that a people such as the Iranian people - one of the world's greatest peoples, one of the world's oldest civilisations, sophisticated, cultured, open - have the misfortune of being represented as they are today by some of their leaders?

"I have said this to my friend Kofi [Annan]: I find it impossible to shake hands with somebody who has dared to say that Israel must be wiped off the map.

"I know perfectly well that we must resolve what is perhaps the most serious international crisis we are having to resolve: that of Iran moving towards a nuclear bomb.

"We cannot resolve it without talking to Iranian leaders, but, after what was the Shoah, after what was the 20th Century, I cannot sit at the same table as a man who dares to say: Israel must be wiped off the map."

Maybe I've gotten used to hearing mealymouthed, whinging, cringing, handwringing accommodationist sap about Iran, but Sarko's plain words were . . . kind of thrilling. Plus I'm happy to see a European leader clearly call out Ahmadinejad about his anti-Semitic rants.

(And you see why I'd never make it in diplomacy.)

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